The controversial FIFA Referee Mateu Lahoz, who officiated the Netherlands Vs Argentina World Cup quarterfinal, has been sent home by FIFA.
Argentina took on the Dutch team in a
thrilling 2022 FIFA World Cup clash. The match was lit by both sides, who approached the game with absolute intensity from the start.
Both sides attacked vigorously, with the Dutch maintaining a slight advantage with ball possession.
Argentina took the lead courtesy of Molino’s strike, assisted by legendary playmaker Lionel Messi.
Messi later doubled the lead after converting a penalty kick to secure their lead, while he increased his goal tally to four in the tournament.
The Dutch fought back late into the game, with Wout Weghorst bagging a late brace to take the game to extra time and then to penalty shootouts, which Argentina won.
Meanwhile, the game was marked with controversies and wrangles over controversial decisions by the center referee – Mateu Lahoz.
Mateu Lahoz made history by issuing 18 yellow cards in the match – the highest number of cards ever issued by a referee in a game.
Lahoz’s performance was not well received by either team – with Argentina’s players particularly vocal about his officiating.
Reacting to Lahoz’s poor officiating, Lionel Messi led other members of his team to wonder why Lahoz was allowed to officiate such a prestigious match.
While declining to directly slam the referee for fear of sanctions, Messi insisted that FIFA should not deploy such referee to handle high-profile matches.
“I don’t want to speak about referees because after they will sanction you. But people saw what happened”, Messi said.
“I think Fifa must take care of this, it cannot put a referee like that for a match of such magnitude, of such importance. The referee cannot fail to be up to the task.”
Manchester United center-back Lisandro Martinez specifically slammed the referee for unfair and lopsided decisions, accusing him of trying to give the game away to the Netherlands. Martinez said: ‘The referee was just giving everything for them.’
Martinez questioned why the referee gave 10 minutes of added time in the game, with the final equaliser coming in the last minute of stoppage time.
Martinez concluded by saying FIFA should not deploy a referee of that kind again. Mateu Lahoz’s decision was indeed controversial.
‘He gave 10 minutes [added time] for no reason’, he added. ‘He was giving free kicks outside the box for them, like two, three times. He just wanted them to score, that’s basically it. So, hopefully we don’t have that ref anymore. He’s useless.’
Now, it appears FIFA has granted the yearnings of the players who complained of the referee’s decision.
According to COPE, FIFA has sent home Mateu Lahoz from the tournament, meaning he will not officiate in any match again in the tournament.
Messi and his teammates will face Croatia in the semi-finals as they look to book a place in the World Cup final.
Who is Mateu Lahoz?
Born on March 12, 1977, in Algimia d’Alfara, Mateu Lahoz is a Spanish football referee who has refereed La Liga matches since 2008. He is also a renowned international referee with experience. He officiated the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Mateu Lohaz is known for his chatty and “quirky” approach to refereeing.
In European football, Mateu Lahoz is a big name that has officiated top European competitions. He was the referee for the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea.
Mateu Lahoz refereed the quarter-final game between the Netherlands and Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
He issued a record 18 yellow cards – the most cards issued during a World Cup match. His poor officiating sparked reactions from both Argentine and Dutch players, prompting FIFA to disengage him from the competition.